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Openness of the Government in the Discussion of the Special Autonomy Bill Volume II | by Neni P.

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Neni P. | Papuan Observer

The government and the DPR agreed on the Revision of Law (RUU) No. 21/2001 on Papua’s Special Autonomy (Otsus) and continued the discussion to the decision-making stage at the DPR plenary meeting to be ratified as law.

The Minister of Home Affairs, Tito Karnavian, claimed that the government was open in discussing the Papua Special Autonomy Bill. According to him, this is seen from the changes to 19 articles in the discussion of the bill which is almost 20 years old.

In the end, the Special Committee for Otsus Papua made changes to 19 articles, namely three articles proposed by the government and 16 articles that were not proposed by the government. The expansion of the additional 16 articles shows that the government is very open, according to Tito in a working meeting (Raker) of the Special Autonomy Special Committee of the DPR with the Minister of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.

Tito said the government initially planned to amend three articles in the Papua Special Autonomy Law. These include Article 1 concerning General Provisions, Article 34 concerning the Special Autonomy Fund, and Article 76 concerning Regional Expansion.

However, he added, in its development there were productive and quality discussions by listening to the aspirations of the Papuan people. In addition, the discussion also included the DPR RI and DPD RI so that in the end the Special Special Autonomy Special Committee for Papua determined that 19 articles had been changed.

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“The government’s openness is only in the spirit of improving the welfare of our brothers and sisters in Papua. And we hope that in the next 20 years there will be a systematic and well-planned acceleration of development,” he hoped.

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Tito explained, the changes to these articles reflected a strong affirmation of the Papuan indigenous people (OAP) as a commitment from all elements of the nation. He continued, the affirmation policy consists of three main frameworks, namely, first, affirmative politics, which accommodates OAP by providing broad opportunities to participate in politics.

In addition, there is also an affirmation in the economic sector by increasing the Special Autonomy funds from 2 percent to 2.25 percent from the General Allocation Fund (DAU). Furthermore, improvements in governance are changes in the Papua Special Autonomy Bill by emphasizing aspects of improvement through coordination and increased supervision.

The supervision will be carried out by the DPR, DPD, the Indonesian Supreme Audit Agency (BPK), and universities.

Tito talked about how the Papua Special Autonomy Bill had traveled to date. According to him, the Papua Special Autonomy Bill was initiated because the government considered that there were a number of things that needed to be corrected from Law Number 21 of 2001.

The improvements include the distribution of development among districts/cities in the provinces of Papua and West Papua. For this reason, it is necessary to take strategic policies, including by making changes to Law Number 21 of 2001 concerning Special Autonomy for Papua.

In addition, changes to the Law are also needed in order to extend the Special Autonomy funds as stated in Article 34 of the Papua Special Autonomy Law. The article states that the Special Autonomy funds are valid for 20 years. So if no changes are made, the Special Autonomy funds will expire in 2021.

In response to this, the government began to process the amendments to the law by requesting input from the Governors of Papua and West Papua. The request was made through a letter from the Minister of Home Affairs dated July 12, 2019 regarding the proposed amendment to the Papua Special Autonomy Law.

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